Here’s an opportunity for Birmingham high school students to support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society through Students of the Year


September is Blood Cancer Awareness Month. Together, we can fight blood cancer. Photo via LLS on Facebook

Do you know someone with lymphoma or leukemia? Unfortunately, chances are that you do. Fortunately, there is an organization right here in Birmingham that can help.  And, they are asking for high school students to get involved. Find out more.

Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) is a national nonprofit that works to raise money for research, patient access and policy and advocacy.

The LLS Alabama/Gulf Coast chapter is working right here in Birmingham to do everything they can for those battling these horrible diseases.

Students of the Year 

One way they are working to make a difference is through the Students of the Year program, which empowers high school students to raise money to make a difference.

Know someone who may be interested? Nominate them here.

Members of the LLS Alabama/Gulf Coast chapter along with a very brave fighter of blood cancer. Photo via LLS Alabama

Who is LLS?

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is making huge strides in our community of cancer research and awareness in Birmingham. What kind of strides, you ask? How big? Check out these numbers:

  1. Pledged $3 million in research grants to UAB through 2019. (much of that has already been provided)
  2. Raised over $1.4 million in 2018
  3. Also in 2018, provided $1.26 million in co-pay and travel assistance to over 550 patients

And that is truly just the tip of the iceberg with the LLS Alabama/Gulf Coast chapter. LLS is a national organization, and the team here in Birmingham works hard to make a difference in our local community. The organization’s mission statement is a straightforward and clear representation of the strength of LLS:

The mission of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s Disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Beating cancer is in our blood.”

A breakdown of where your donations to LLS go in support of cancer research and breakthroughs. Photo by LLS

Three Big Focal Points

They highlight 3 major principles: Research, Patient Access and Policy and Advocacy.


“LLS is at the forefront of the of the fight to cure cancer.” As an organization, LLS has raised more than $1.2 billion in research — more than any other blood cancer nonprofit.

Patient Access:

“LLS helps patients navigate their cancer treatment and ensures they have access to quality, affordable and coordinated care.” LLS knows that as a patient, sometimes the treatment process can feel lonely and difficult. They are here to make the process more seamless and to guide you through it — beginning, middle and end.

Policy and Advocacy

“Through our nationwide grassroots network of more than 100,000 volunteers, we advocate for policies at the state and federal level in a commitment to remove barriers to care for cancer patients.” These efforts have raised funds that increase federal research, expedite the review and approval process of new therapies and ensure patients have access to the lifesaving treatments they need.

Mary Grace Lorino of Mountain Brook High School and Bella Shimko-Lofano of Vestavia Hills High School are already signed up to be Students of the Year. Nominate someone today! Photo via LLS Alabama

Students Of The Year Campaign

The organization is currently holding a campaign called Student of the Year. This campaign encourages motivated high school students to engage in a 7 week fundraising competition. Each dollar raised counts as 1 vote. The candidates/teams with most votes at the end of the 7 weeks earn the title of “Students of the Year.”


The best part? None of these students are expected to go it alone. (Noticing a theme here?) Each student goes through a workshop in December and will receive mentorship and guidance along the way from an LLS professional. This will ensure that students have the tools they need to succeed throughout the entire process.

Not only will each student receive mentorship and training, they will each be able to select people for their team. Each student can have up to 10 people on a specific team.

Who is this for?

The Students of the Year program is ideal for high school students who are interested in and excited about volunteering, philanthropy, community outreach and leadership opportunities.

Give me a quick rundown. 

How will participating in the program benefit the candidates?

  • Networking (outreach, sponsorship requests)
  • Communication (email and letter writing)
  • Event management. (organizing and running fundraising events)
  • Presentation skills (sponsorship requests)
  • Entrepreneurship (coming up with and running fundraising events)
  • Financial planning and goal setting
  • Leadership (working with and guiding a team)

While each one of those bullet points is incredible in and of itself, there’s more: the candidate who earns the title Students of the Year will also earn a $2500 scholarship. Yep, I told you they were impressive.

How to enter:

LLS is doing big things right here in Birmingham and all over the country. Do you know a high school student who would make a great Student of the Year candidate? Do you think you would make a fantastic candidate? Nominate yourself or someone else here.

Sponsored by:

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Lauren Bedford
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